March 13th 2017

When I established the forums in 2005 it was to offer a more richer web experience and greater functionality than the platform where we started this social adventure in 2003, Yahoo Groups. The forums were once a busy hive of activity and provided locals and visitors with a wealth of information just like the Geocaching Ireland Discussion Group on Facebook today.

It was a time where we didn't have the many social media platforms we have today, and it was a different time in terms of mobility and technology. There was no instant access to information, no Google Maps and a very limited base map on your GPSr. Mobile connectivity for me was a 9600bps Infrared connection from a Nokia to a laptop and in later times to a PDA using WAP.

As we moved into the social media era so did our forums users. Geocaching Ireland moved there too, and we have a thriving community on the Geocaching Ireland Discussion Group on Facebook. As a result, forum activity isn't what it used to be and I have taken the decision to disable new registrations to the forums and to make the forums read only so any information there can still be accessed.

The discussion hasn't ended, it has just moved. Join us on the Facebook Geocaching Ireland Discussion Group .

Donnacha

Guideline Changes & Clarifications

Geocache Placement and Review Discussions

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Guideline Changes & Clarifications

Post by Croaghan » Fri May 09, 2008 8:03 am

An announcement on the Groundspeak Forums from MissJenn:

"Guideline Changes & Clarifications, response to needs of evolving community"

http://forums.groundspeak.com/GC/index. ... pic=193115
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kersti.com

Post by kersti.com » Fri May 09, 2008 9:16 am

Looks good to me - although I would striongly recommend that any cache that might conflict and that has permission should state so. A simple "This cache listing has been approved by Geocaching.com"

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Post by dino » Fri May 09, 2008 9:20 am

Good point kersti but I have seen that on a number of such caches. They're usually published by someone other than the usual local reviewer and have that kind of statement in the publish note.
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albertw

Re: Guideline Changes & Clarifications

Post by albertw » Fri May 09, 2008 9:21 am

Croaghan wrote:An announcement on the Groundspeak Forums from MissJenn:

"Guideline Changes & Clarifications, response to needs of evolving community"
Well the needs of gc.com hq anyway...

I see caches linked to charities are now explicitly banned also.

I think any caches that are near churches may not get approved either, in particular if you need to go inside to get some clue. In fact any cache that needs you to go inside anything will fall foul "The geocache is presumed to be commercial if the finder is required to go inside a business".

The forums will see even more locked threads by the sound of it too "As a result, we intend to limit forum discussions that promote a commercial, social, political or charitable agenda insofar as the agenda does not reasonably relate to the activity of geocaching and GPS usage." Why dont they just state whats common practice on some of those forums "we intend to lock and delete any threads we dont like" :-)

At least we have a sane local reviewer!

The more of this I see the more I understand why Lac & Eck threw in the towel.

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Post by Croaghan » Fri May 09, 2008 9:40 am

You've gotten the gist of all that wrong Albert. In fact completely wrong as the intentions of the new change is to make the guidelines more flexible and to enable reviewers (all over the world) make decisions that best suit their areas while still retaining one set of global guidelines that Groundspeak can control. There has been a lot of discussion in the reviewer forums about these changes and the overall drive is to allow us to have more flexibility and make it "easier to say Yes"
At least we have a sane local reviewer!
He's got a serious split-personality problem though :mrgreen:
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johnrm

Post by johnrm » Fri May 09, 2008 9:43 am

Oooh...

Maybe I'd better archive GC16AH7 then. :(
Placed 2 days ago, Published yesterday, no Finds yet. :shock:

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_de ... 11f41a9890

albertw

Post by albertw » Fri May 09, 2008 9:51 am

Croaghan wrote:There has been a lot of discussion in the reviewer forums about these changes and the overall drive is to allow us to have more flexibility and make it "easier to say Yes"
The above post specifically tightens what's allowed. You had more discretion before. It'll trundle along fine with the apparent 'more flexibility' until the next time gc.com piss us all off with some other rule/guideline change/bright idea.
At least we have a sane local reviewer!
He's got a serious split-personality problem though :mrgreen:
yea, It's a pity that someone more sane, like that nice "dino" chap isn't the reviewer :D

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Post by Croaghan » Fri May 09, 2008 9:56 am

Guys....Churches are not and never have been an issue (otherwise The Windsockers would be in bother!)
MissJenn wrote: The new Cache Guidelines will read as follows:
Commercial caches will not be published on geocaching.com without prior approval from Groundspeak. A commercial cache is a geocache listing or geocache which is perceived by Groundspeak, Groundspeak's employees, or the Volunteer Geocache Reviewers as having been submitted to geocaching.com with the principal or substantial intent of soliciting customers or generating commercial gain. The geocache is presumed to be commercial if the finder is required to go inside a business, interact with employees, and/or purchase a product or service, or if the cache listing has overtones of advertising, marketing, or promotion.

Additionally, links to businesses, commercial advertisers, charities, political or social agendas, or the inclusion of their associated logos are not permitted on cache descriptions without prior permission from Groundspeak.
Can someone explain how the part I've highlighted could ever refer to Churches?

That section of the guideline hasn't changed much and is to prevent somone from promoting a business by having to go in and buy something in order to log the cache. I've seen caches put forward in pubs whereby you have to buy a pint and give a codeword....hardly non-commercial or geocaching that!
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Post by Croaghan » Fri May 09, 2008 10:04 am

albertw wrote:The above post specifically tightens what's allowed. You had more discretion before. It'll trundle along fine with the apparent 'more flexibility' until the next time gc.com piss us all off with some other rule/guideline change/bright idea.
Sorry Albert, I'll say it again. You've totally got the wrong end of the stick here. A lot of the flexibility that I and the UK guys have taken for granted as local reviewers in this part of the world was called into question over the last few weeks and months with complaints from disgruntled cachers across the water that had their caches turned down by reviewers enforcing the guidelines to the letter. These modifications give us (and all reviewers) the right to be flexible and to use our own judgement without fear of criticism. You may not see it as such but I see it as a fantastic step forward by Groundspeak.

I'll admit that we have been given much more detail about what we can and can't do in the reviewer forum and I've seen the many caches that get turned down or have to be severely modified so I have a clearer picture of what has changed but these modifications should be highly welcomed.
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albertw

Post by albertw » Fri May 09, 2008 10:40 am

Croaghan wrote:Can someone explain how the part I've highlighted could ever refer to Churches?
From the clarification post above they state "Caches perceived to be posted for religious, political, charitable or social agendas are still not permitted. " in the same section that they are talking about business. Going into a shopping center is much the same as going into a church. If a commercial cache is one that requires you to enter a business then a religious one is one that requires you to enter a place of worship.

Now no reviewer would seriously not approve GC16AH7, unless they actually follow the newguidelines. The old guidelines did nothing to restrict a cache like that. The same common sense of a reviewer would apply.

Basically the new guidelines are tighter than previously, and the burden now gets pushed onto reviewers to make exceptions. And it seems to have stemmed from what a commercial cache is. To most of us a commercial cache is obvious, but gc.com seem to want to extend the idea to any cache with a url to a business, or having a clue in a premesis etc. Whether your cache gets approved or not is down to a given reviewer making an exception to loosen the rules rather than previously where they would have had the opportunity to tighten them (ie just tell someone that their cache is commercial - end of). Actually the guideline as stated says nothing about reviewers having discretion; can gc.com not just state all this in a guideline rather than having post for guidelines for interpreting the guidelines!

Thats how it seems to me anyway, which I why I posted about being thankful for a decent reviewer here, albeit one with a split personality :D There are bound to just be more whining reviewers and cachers in future due to exceptions being made. Are we going to see an appeals process starting now too to object that a given reviewer did or didn't grant an exception!

edit: just saw this.
I'll admit that we have been given much more detail about what we can and can't do in the reviewer forum and I've seen the many caches that get turned down or have to be severely modified so I have a clearer picture of what has changed but these modifications should be highly welcomed.
Cool. That should be made public for cache placers to see whats realistically allowed rather than just stating the new guideline. I'd rather see what I am and am not allowed to do in practice rather than being given a strict guideline and told that a reviewer can make an exception. Lets all work off the same hymn sheet. Then again I don't see what the problem was with the old guideline - obvious commercial caches were not allowed under that either. The world of gc.com reviewing is clearly much more complicated than I ever thought :D

I'm all in favour of what you say this does, I just dont think it actually does it. At least not from reading the public guideline.

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Post by Croaghan » Fri May 09, 2008 11:10 am

albertw wrote:I'm all in favour of what you say this does, I just dont think it actually does it.
And that's probably the reason why we'll never agree on this. Just take it from me that it does make my job easier and will make things better for cache publication in Ireland.
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albertw

Post by albertw » Fri May 09, 2008 11:54 am

Croaghan wrote:
albertw wrote:I'm all in favour of what you say this does, I just dont think it actually does it.
And that's probably the reason why we'll never agree on this. Just take it from me that it does make my job easier and will make things better for cache publication in Ireland.
ok so :D

medic143

Post by medic143 » Fri May 09, 2008 3:58 pm

While in California/Nevada last year I did two caches that would seem to fall foul of these new guidelines, both of which I liked. In one I was required to enter a tourist office and ask for the cache, the other require me to give a code phrase at a beach front bike rental booth in Santa Monica. Especially in the latter case the intention was (to me) to bring you to their stall but I was not asked about renting anything and actually enjoyed a bit of banter about caching with the stall operator.

I accept our overloads assurances that he has even greater power over us poor hider of tupperware and look forward to his using this increased power to ensure steve starts using puzzles that you don't have to be a member of mensa to solve
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Post by parkmoy » Fri May 09, 2008 5:29 pm

think any caches that are near churches may not get approved either, in particular if you need to go inside to get some clue. In fact any cache that needs you to go inside anything will fall foul "The geocache is presumed to be commercial if the finder is required to go inside a business".

You need to quote the whole thing
The geocache is presumed to be commercial if the finder is required to go inside a business, interact with employees, and/or purchase a product or service, or if the cache listing has overtones of advertising, marketing, or promotion.
To me the operative words here are 'and/or'. Nothing that I can see stops you going inside. Interaction with employees? - Debatable what is classed as interaction - is asking for a cache? Reviewers decision I think.
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Post by Hezekiah » Fri May 09, 2008 6:09 pm

Freudian slip there!
medic143 wrote:I accept our overloads assurances that he has even greater power over us poor hider of tupperware and look forward to his using this increased power to ensure steve starts using puzzles that you don't have to be a member of mensa to solve
:D
Shouldn't that read "overlord"?? :twisted: :twisted:
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Post by Kili or bust » Fri May 09, 2008 9:03 pm

Nah! "Overload" is much better under the circumstances! :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

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Post by daraconn » Fri May 09, 2008 9:53 pm

medic143 wrote:While in California/Nevada last year I did two caches that would seem to fall foul of these new guidelines, both of which I liked. In one I was required to enter a tourist office and ask for the cache, the other require me to give a code phrase at a beach front bike rental booth in Santa Monica.
I would not have liked either of these two. Going into a tourist office and asking for a cache is not my idea of caching. I am glad commercial caches are not allowed. I am also glad that caches with a religious or political agenda are not allowed. You might think charities should be allowed, but one man's charity is another mans' Islamic terror organisation or cult religion.

These guidelines exist to prevent blatant abuses; they enhance my enjoyment of caching, and I don't see why people are trying to stretch the interpretation of the guidelines to make them seem absurd.

For me, the guidelines don't go far enough, because they seem to allow "pay-to-play" caches if the entrance fee is not a "for-profit location".
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brackyboggers

Post by brackyboggers » Sat May 10, 2008 12:11 am

I think it's great we have a reviewer who works hard to help all of us enjoy the lunchbox chasing hobby and has stated his job is easier because of changes involved in new guidelines. I can't see how the new guidelines will change geocaching immensely for the rest of us. Once informed of change (and I've no problem with the new guidelines) we can decide whether to tow the rope or move on to something else.

albertw

Post by albertw » Sat May 10, 2008 11:30 am

daraconn wrote:For me, the guidelines don't go far enough, because they seem to allow "pay-to-play" caches if the entrance fee is not a "for-profit location".
gc.com is all about pay for play :-)

parkmoy, the boolean logic of the sentence splits down to (go inside a business or interact with employees and/or purchase a product or service) or (if the cache listing has overtones of advertising or marketing, or promotion). The and is redundant really, if you have to purchase something is not allowed regardless of whether you had to go into the shop or not. Then again writing software based on english descriptions may cause me to read things in a different way to most people! Still if Croghan says it improves things then cool!

kersti.com

Re: Guideline Changes & Clarifications

Post by kersti.com » Sat Aug 14, 2010 10:49 am

Was just reviewing the guidelines ahead of hopefully a good day when I noticed a slight change in tone...
The geocache is presumed to be commercial if the finder is required to go inside a business, interact with employees, and/or purchase a product or service, or if the cache listing has overtones of advertising, marketing, or promotion.
I read that as it is commercial if the finder is required to go inside a business AND interact with employees AND/OR purchase...

So I would presume that if a finder was required to go into a business but they could find the cache without interacting and without purchasing then it should be OK... #-o

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